Tuesday Jul 27, 2021
A sessions court in Islamabad on Tuesday sent to jail the parents of Zahir Jaffer and two other suspects on a 14-day judicial remand for their alleged involvement in the murder of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of a former Pakistani ambassador.
The suspects were presented before Judicial Magistrate Shoaib Akhtar’s court today.
At the outset of the hearing, the police requested the judge for a 14-day judicial remand of the suspects. After hearing the request, the judge asked the plaintiffs whether they would like to present their arguments in the case.
The lawyers responded by saying that they will not present their arguments if the judge will send the suspects to jail on remand.
The court, on hearing this, approved the remand and the suspects — Zakir Jaffer, Asmat Adamjee, Iftikhar and Jameel — were ordered to be sent to Adiala Jail.
However, before the hearing could be dismissed, Raja Rizwan Abbasi, the lawyer for Zakir Jaffer and his wife, asked the court that he be allowed to meet his clients.
The court accepted the request of the lawyer and the suspects were once again brought inside the court where the counsel met his clients.
After speaking to his clients, Abbasi appealed to the court to discharge Zakir Jaffer and his wife from the case.
At this, Judge Akhtar remarked that the court has already issued orders for judicial remand and cannot entertain the appeal.
The lawyer then asked the judge to include his appeal in the written orders and the judge accepted the request.
The court subsequently issued the orders for all four suspects to be sent to jail for 14 days and ordered the police to present them in the next hearing on August 10.
Following the verdict, Zahir's parents turned in a request for release on bail to the court.
The court sent a notice to the police, informing them of the request, and also asking for a complete record of the case.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Sohail will decide on the matter of bail on July 30.
Meanwhile, the Mukadam family lawyer told Geo News that Zahir Jaffer’s counsel "has not taken a plea that the suspect has a mental disability".
Speaking to the host of Geo News programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath", Shah Khawar, the lawyer, said that till Monday, three court hearings of the case had been held, and not once had Jaffer’s defense counsel taken the insanity plea.
“If this plea is taken later by his lawyer then that will be an afterthought,” Shah Khawar said. “As of now this defense only exists on social media.”
Earlier last week, the SSP Investigation told the media in Islamabad that Zahir Jaffer was sound of mind and "in his senses” when arrested at the scene of the crime.
When asked about the investigation into the case, Shah Khawar said that the police probe was moving in the right direction. In a case like this there are no witnesses, except the suspect himself, he added, “so forensic analysis of evidence is very important here”.
In a parallel development, Zahir's fingerprints were taken today to seek his criminal record in the US and UK, sources within the police told Geo News.
The police's fingerprint experts sent the suspect's prints to the American and British embassies, the sources said.
The sources said that Zahir's criminal history will be made part of the case.
The sources said that in 2016, Zahir Jaffer was jailed for three months and subsequently deported from the UK.
A day earlier, an Islamabad court remanded Zahir Jaffer to police custody for two more days.
Jaffer was produced in court on the completion of his two-day physical remand. Public prosecutor Sajid Cheema told the court that they have recovered a knife, a pistol and an iron mace from the suspect's possession.
The court granted a two-day extension in physical remand of Jaffer to the police and after questioning the suspect, ordered that he be produced in court again on July 28.
Meanwhile, Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed said the names of the suspects will be presented to the Cabinet this week for inclusion in the Exit Control List.
Currently, Zahir's name has been added to the Provincial National Identification List (PNIL), he said.
Jaffer's parents were arrested on Sunday, along with a cook and a guard.
The police said that the parents of the suspects and their two employees were arrested on the charge of concealing the crime.
Later, the parents and the two employees were remanded into police custody for two days.
Noor, 27, was murdered in the federal capital on July 20, in the city's F-7 area, according to police.
She is the daughter of Shaukat Mukadam, who served as Pakistan's ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan.
The gruesome incident has sparked a nationwide campaign seeking justice for her, with #JusticeforNoor becoming a top trend on Twitter.